BP Lightsource, Shell 'very close' to solar project agreement with government

FILE PHOTO - Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister,  Stuart Young met with the Group CEO of Lightsource BP, Nick Boyle and other officials from Lightsource BP Photo courtesy the Office of the Prime Minister -
FILE PHOTO - Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young met with the Group CEO of Lightsource BP, Nick Boyle and other officials from Lightsource BP Photo courtesy the Office of the Prime Minister -

BP, BP Lightsource, Shell and the government are "very close" to signing the project agreement for what is set to be the Caribbean's largest solar farm.

BP corporate communications manager Giselle Thompson revealed this to Newsday on Thursday afternoon.

In November 2021, Energy Minister Stuart Young met Lightsource BP CEO Nick Boyle and other company officials to discuss solar park projects in Trinidad. Shell eventually also became a partner for the projects.

Lightsource BP's website lists the projects' sites as Brechin Castle (92 MW) and Orange Grove (20 MW.)

The Brechin Castle solar park will be built on 587 acres of land and each year produce 225,303 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity to supply 31,500 households. The solar park will save 123,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions per year, which is equivalent to taking 26,500 cars off the road. One MWh equals 1,000 kilowatts of electricity generated per hour.

The Orange Grove project will occupy 148 acres. It will supply 50,417 MWh each year to 7,000 households and save 27,500 tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to taking 5,500 cars off the road.

On Wednesday, senior vice president and country chairman of Shell TT Eugene Okpere said within the next few weeks, there will be "good news" related to renewable energy in TT.

In addition, Young said, "Very, very soon you will hear big announcements on the solar side. You can be proud that TT will have the largest solar farms in the whole Caribbean.

"So we not just talking, and that's for your generation."

Lightsource BP's website has a timeline of events related to the projects and for both sites, it lists the next target as preliminary assessments and site design.

It said it is "undertaking a wide range of environmental assessments to help shape our plans.

"These include landscape and visual, heritage and archaeology, ecology and more."

Asked for an update, given Okpere and Young's hint at major announcements soon, Thompson told Newsday all partnering companies are "finalising the project agreement with the government."

Once this is complete, she said, Young will make some big announcements.

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